Similar to negro spirituals. Gospel music is used to heal, uplift and spread the message of God. During the 19th century. Slaves were only permitted to gather in churches. Gospel music was the best way they knew how to express their sorrows and hopes for a brighter future. Although it all goes back to the same messages, the way the music developed was different depending on the culture.

Worship traditions largely influenced the styles, sounds, and rhythms in which gospel music was communicated with the public. One church or worship centers music might sounds completely different from that of another. The southern black baptist church is known for its glorious praises in which members of the choir sing out to the top of their lungs giving thanks to God. However, a luthern church, for example, might have more of a bluegrass tone to it which is softer and gentler.